On October 4th the homebrewing world lost one of its most stalwart champions with the passing of Mike “Tasty” McDole.

Mike was a world-renowned homebrewer, who also was part of many collaboration brews with commercial brewers, the most famous of which produced 21st Amendment’s “Tasty IPA” and, of course, Heretic’s “Evil 3″ triple IPA.

Mike was a founding member of my homebrew club, the Diablo Order of Zymiracle Enthusiasts (DOZE) and it was one of his pride and joys. He was the first club member to win an award at a homebrew competition, and he went on to win several more, including the Samuel Adams Longshot competition (2008), before retiring from competing.

Mike was a supportive and encouraging of new brewers. He was humble and earnest in critiquing a beer, and never offered a criticism without also offering a suggestion on how to resolve the problem. He was also a regular contributor to the Brewing Network’s podcasts, and the originator of “Tasty’s Tasting Room” homebrew booth at the BN’s annual Spring Brews Festival in Concord, CA. It was because of Mike that homebrew is a regular part of several other beer festivals in the area.

As a result, Mike was known and beloved far and wide. Occasionally, after being greeted by people and having selfies taken with him, by people while out for a beer, he’d lean in with a grin and whisper, “I just don’t get it. They act like I’m something special, but I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m just an old hippie who likes to make good beer.”

Mike’s most famous and popular recipe is “Janet’s Brown Ale”, with which he won a gold medal at the 2004 National Homebrew Competition. Janet’s Brown is named after his wife, whose favorite it was among his brews (she had passed away in 2001). Tasty freely shared the recipe, and allowed several commercial breweries to make batches of it. It appears in Jamil Zainasheff’s book Brewing Classic Styles and has been made into a homebrew kit by MoreBeer!

Janet’s Brown Ale

  • 27.5 lb pale malt
  • 3.0 lb dextrin malt
  • 2.5 lb 40L crystal malt
  • 2.0 lb wheat malt
  • 1.0 lb 350L chocolate malt
  • 1.0 lb corn sugar
  • 3.0 oz US Northern Brewer pellet hops, 5.1% a.a. (mash)
  • 3.0 oz US Northern Brewer pellet hops, 5.1% a.a. (60 min)
  • 2.0 oz US Northern Brewer pellet hops, 5.1% a.a. (15 min)
  • 3.0 oz Cascade pellet hops, 5.6% a.a. (10 min)
  • 4.0 oz Cascade whole hops, 5.8% a.a. (0 min, hopback)
  • 4.0 oz Centennial pellet hops, 10.5% a.a. (dry hop)
  • White Labs WLP001

Water profile: Ca 110.0 ppm, Mg 18.0 ppm, Na 17.0 ppm, SO4 350.0 ppm, Cl 50.0 ppm.

  1. Mash grains at 154° F for 30 minutes. Raise to 170° F and hold for 15 minutes. Sparge at 170° F for 45 minutes.
  2. Primary fermentation for 7 days at 68° F.
  3. Secondary fermentation for 9 days at 70° F . Dry hop in secondary for 7 days.
  4. Cold condition for six weeks.

Original Gravity: 1.074 FG: 1.018 ABV: 7.35%